Blueholme work nearly done

I have just one more picture to do, something about missile combat. I have been looking at come of the other work by my cohorts, and I must say I am excited for this project to be done.

Erik Tenkar recently sent me an advance copy of Swords &Wizardry Continual Light, and I joined the Swords & Wizardry Light Legion, so as to better work on Beneath the Fallen Tower. (I had also acquiered Monstrosities, Tome of Horrors Complete  and Tome of Horrors 4 for conversions). Oddly enough, the adventure hook I put in that would lead to an encounter with a fire Slorn scaled better with James Spahn’s abreviated stats for a SWCL dragon than with the Fire Lizard I had planned on porting from Tome of Horrors  Complete. Naturally this encounter was one of those our starter characters would have been gravely outmatched by, but no one ever said the world had to be balanced.

Likewise, the necromantically inclined apprentice wizard in the adventure scales perfectly as one of Spahn’s alternate classes.

My work has been published in two otber gaming suplements. Nod 32 ,by John Stater, has a bunch of my Mesopotamian art, along with some Circus folk for Grit & Vigor.

One of my Dungeon Scenes showed up in Christopher Clark’s systemless adventure, Bastion, the Border Village of Namar. It has good use of clip art throughout, and a decent cross section of plots, some of which revolve around a demon cult that uses succubi to lure in members, much like the Saturnal cult withintbe sewers of Northport. The one thing that felt off to me was the way every female character had some kind of attractiveness rating,and none of the male characters had more than the most cursory of physical descriptions.

You can pick that up here.

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GM’Day Sale and Interview

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Iwas just interviwed by Paco Garcia Jaen of the Base Secreto, a gaming coffeeshop in Madrid for his G*M*S Magazine podcast. We talked about my preferences for stock art that tries to be a little more representational, because the more people who can see someone like them in a game, the more people will play, and the more people who play, the better the chances are of everyone being able to have a good time.

 

One Bookshelf is running a 30% off sale for the next several days on all of my stuff, along with tons of other things. Each of my stock art packages come with 8-31 images. I am not selling just the cover image here. If you have been on the fence, now might be a good time to pick some of it up.

Also on sale is Blood & Treasure 2e, including the Treasure Keeper’s screen. Please buy them; I get nothing for it, but when John M. Stater sells, he can afford to hire me for more projects.

Get them, and other products of his, here.

 

It’s GM’s day. Get your GM something nice.

 

 

Like a book of my Stock art

Recent Acquisitions and Comissions

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I just got a few new used GURPS books, and freshly printed copies of The Wizard’s Scroll and Crypts and Things Remastered from Drivethrurpg. I always get hardcopy of things with my art in them, it lets me build a portfolio of published work, although you can always get a copy of my book if you are interested. (And use code SURVIVE20 to get20% off)

Some of my recent work, to be seen in John M. Stater’s Nod 31  (A ghost dog, space amazons, Ajax and a giant scorpion fight), and an elven necromantrix and a goblin sage for a yet to be named project by Charlie Mason (originally slated for his Whitebox Quickstart until my art was deemed too Old School for an introductory RPG. He has got some vibrantly colored pieces by Spiral Magus instead, which is far from a bad thing.

I post several things to my Patreon a month, and bundle them for sale once I hit a large enough amount, but my patrons get them for free. If you like buying my art bundles, consider a monthly donation of $1 to get a piece of this. If you want to tell me what to draw, donate $5 or more. It comes out to be cheaper than my usual commission rates.

Out of the suggestion that my art was too Old School in feel, because of this commissionbeginners-boook

You can get a print of this here.

I started working on a project to depict an adventuring party more aesthetically pleasing to a younger set of folks without a history of tabletop rpg experience. Thus was born the Young Adventurers, currently being featured on my Patreon.

I am hoping to do more with them. Let’s see how that unfolds.

Similar themes, different outcomes: or why I should read kickstarters through and not simply buy because of cool Art

The reason I bought into Beneath the Inverted Church was entirely based on preview art that showed up in my G+ feeds. The art in question is some good linework by Scott Buoncristiano, like this piece of his:

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I didn’t bother to read through the Kickstarter, and by the time Erik Tenkar reviewed it, I had forgotten that I had backed it.  I find there to be thematic alignments between BtIC and Zak Sabbath’s wonderful Alice inspired A Red and Pleasant Land.

Both involve characters entering a hostile and evil demiplane subject to the caprices and obsessions of the truly villainous inhabitants, and having to pass into an even more warped reality through mirrors.  If the main enemy in BtiC was any other type of demon than an “Inverted Cupid” the types of horrors encountered would have been more palatable.  As they follow that specific type of evil, it enters into a questionable territory. Not, mind you, and unfamiliar one. Plenty of the flavor text in  ARaPL is just as graphic, with one major point of difference.  The evils of ARaPL are just that, Evil, and at no point are the characters forced to really participate in the Red Queen’s games in order to complete the adventure. They can capitulate, it is true, but it is not required that they do so. They can run, they can kill, and most certainly, they can die, but they needn’t do anything graphically uncomfortable.

That aside, there are a lot of interesting mechanics to the circumstance of travelling through, or opening mirrored portals.  While the Stress mechanic is reminiscent of San points loss in CoC or Fright Checks in GURPS, they unfortunately generate the problem of dictating how a character feels.  You can tell a PC that the image they see through the glass is revolting, but strips a little agency when you tell them that they are disgusted, but cannot turn away, at least without incorporating some type of Saving throw or resistance check.

The looking glass world in BtIC is called the Invert, and like that of ARaPL, is a very hostile place, and also quite alive. Not only are you faced, when gazing at a reflective surface, with loathy images that induce stress, but it can see you. In the case of several locations called mirror doors, there are two types of interactions; the first is to be magically (and forcibly) drawn through the glass, which only allows passage of flesh and a substance called Stained Salt (a super hardened mineral that looks like stained glass), a process that will maim or kill dressed and armored characters, or  to “seduce” the sentient mirror door by showing it something both novel and  indecent.  This goes beyond a “tell me your darkest secret” kind of thing, and quickly drifts into an uncomfortable place that might demand an alignment check from characters dealing with the toll keeping aspect of the mirror world (if not their players walking out on the game). Now, there is an “out” built into the setting; the first encounter the characters have is with an amoral bandit who likes to defile the corpses of his victims in a way that would make Dahmer blush, but is accompanied on his crimes by a merry band of artists who record the atrocities in their sketchbooks.  There are some examples of the content of these images, and a money making opportunity for characters to sell them off so that they can be destroyed by grief stricken relatives of the deceased depicted therin, but primarily in that you can bypass the damned doors by showing them pages from the book, which is still pretty nasty.

The monstrous opponents in BtIC do look amazing, again thanks to Scott Buoncristiano’s artwork, and could easily have crawled out of the Teratic Tome, or the Random Guest Table from a Red and Pleasant Land. (One of my favorite parts of that book!)

By converting the primary opponent from a lust demon into one of violence, one could remove all of the sexual content from this and play through, but the characters without the picture book of mutilated corpses might have to shed their own or each other’s blood to open the doors… There are enough mechanical ideas in this to be interesting, but culling them from the rest of the material is not for the faint of heart.

 

Edit: Instead   of showing the Magical Mirror Doors some novel perversion,  you could instead require characters   to recite new or original poetry to the door, as the Blatant Beast  did to Harold Shea in the Incompleat Enchanter.

On other notes: Two products with my art just hit drivethrough. As usual I don’t get anything from sales unless it is one of my own products, but check these out:

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The Blood & Treasure Keeper’s Screen, by John Stater and The first issue of Charlie Mason’s Whitebox zine, wcThe Wizard’s Scroll

Snatch em now, the art is good!

 

 

I am in business now!

In addition to all of my products over at DrivethruRPG, I am now a vendor on Society6, where you can buy prints of many of my pieces.

additionally, I have just launched a patreon! My aims are to raise enough money to upgrade my website to one that would allow for linkbacks, and then to replace my old scanner with a better model.

What you get: for $1, access to digital artwork loaded up every one to two weeks, and with increased levels, linkbacks to your blog once I get that upgraded, suggestions on the category of art (and eventually composing the type of stock art I am selling).

Further levels would get you specific commissions of quarterly or even bimonthly commissions, and even quarterly digitized color paintings by commission!

This blog will continue to show shaky photographs of all of my work, but patrons will have access to the cleaned up, print ready images.

Now that my major commissions are done, I can get back to the GURPS to SW project I have been after…

Oh, and by the way, I bought into the Cirsova kickstarter, and just started reading the three books I have from it.  While I haven’t gotten far, the authors I encountered sure seem to have the feel of the sword and sorcery books my dad had.  Good stuff, makes me think of a lot of the DCC adventures I have read.

You All Meet in a Tavern…

This most recent  commission, for Erik  Tenkar’s  blog, is the most complicated  piece of inkwork I  have created to date. It is also the last piece I will sell at the rates I was working with. This went through 5 drafts and took over six hours.

The characters are not new, as almost all of them come from my stock art

(Available here) The characters come from Wizards, Characters, Dungeon Scenes, and Rise of the Lich.

Whle I have had characters meet up in a tavern (The Rusty Marlinspike, The Leather Mask, and The Wastrel’s  Hope) and produced a 125pt barkeep (watered down Inkeeper) that I should post at some point, the primary meetup for my game is at the Adventurer’s Guild. Guilds have some rules already in DF, although I add a perk of membership, that functions  as a benevolent society, allowing  free lodging at status -1 conditions, and counts as proof of “employment” to keep you out of indentured  servitude (the local penalty for vagrancy). Most of my players tick it off as a License.